It’s National Parks & Recreation month, and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor my favorite form of self-care than a backpacking trip to get that fresh mountain air and glacier water. I’m a late bloomer to getting outdoors but I always look forward to these trips for the beauty and solace. Nature provides so much healing by just existing!
When visiting National Parks or going on outdoor adventures, it’s a much better experience if you plan ahead and are prepared. Because of this, I wanted to take some time to share my 3 best tips for getting outdoors and celebrating this month! Let’s dive in.
1. Choose the Right Time and Place to Go
With parks all over the U.S., it’s important to know the best time of the year to go to the parks you are interested in. Zion National Park will be unbearably hot in the summer months, where Rocky Mountain Park has frigid winters where snow often blocks roads. Always research the weather and what to expect during the time you plan to travel. A great way to get inspired is following the National Parks Service Instagram or Instagram for the individual parks. This will give you a sense of what can be explored, current conditions, and often guidance on what cute critters you can expect and how to respect their space!
Once you have found the perfect time of year to visit, make a reservation right away. Since the pandemic, people have been heading outside more, this has led to parks booking up faster than usual so be sure to snag your day reservations or backcountry permits! If you aren’t sure which park you want to adventure in check out Find Your Park, and help narrow down the search. We always get an America the Beautiful Pass to support the National Parks, this will get you into any park for a year and will waive fees at BLM and other Interagency locations.
2. Leave No Trace
We only have one Earth, and it’s our responsibility to do better for it and live more sustainable lives. If you are interested in doing so but don’t know where to start look no further than Leave No Trace. This is the center for Outdoor Ethics, they are on a mission to ensure a sustainable future for the outdoors and the planet. Their goal is to sustain healthy and vibrant natural lands by fixing damaged trails and natural areas, connect youth with nature, protect at-risk wildlife, and more. With their solutions, they have helped restored 100+ natural areas and educated over 15.5 million people on how to protect our earth.
If you are interested in reducing your impact when visiting the great outdoors head to their website and learn their 7 principles of Leave No Trace which will provide you with the framework you need to help. In its simplest form, pack it in and pack it out with your trash...stay on marked trails...leave the music for the ride home!
3. Bring the Proper Gear
I can’t stress enough the importance of being prepared with the appropriate gear. Ask any outdoor enthusiast in your life and they’ll give you the same advice. When you pack be prepared for varying temperatures from scorching heat to extreme colds, the temperatures can drastically drop at night or when you rise to higher elevations. For example in spring, at Joshua Tree National Park daytime highs can climb into the high 70s only to drop into the low 30s at night. Always bring layers so you can adjust as the temperatures do! On top of climate considerations always bring a weatherproof backpack for adventures, and a dry bag to keep items like cell phones from getting wet. And don’t forget to hydrate! Always be prepared to have enough water, whether you tow it with you in your pack or plan to filter at a beautiful alpine lake.
Do you have adventurous friends? Check out my Get Outside Box, it’s a great gift packed with the basics to start any adventure!
Now Get Outside!
Now that you are armed with 3 tips for any outdoor adventure it’s time to get outside. Adventure is out there, take time to find it! Are you planning on any outdoor trips this year? Comment below and let me know where you are heading!